5 Tips For Palletising The Right Way
14 Dec 2017
Palletising goods for shipment requires skill and care if it’s to be done safely and effectively. Poorly palletised goods can suffer damage during transit, and badly built pallet stacks can cause pallet failure and accidents. So here are five tips for getting it right when loading wooden pallets, no matter how busy the warehouse is.
1. Pack the Boxes for Stability
You can ensure that the layer of boxes at the bottom of the pallet acts as a stability mechanism for the whole load by picking the heaviest boxes to form the base layer. Ideally, the pallet should then be packed so that there is a complete layer at the top. However, if there aren’t enough boxes to do this, the most stable method is to put the last few boxes along an outside edge.
2. Use a Plastic Packing Sheet
Known as slip sheets, these can be put on the base boards before palletising pallets. The slip sheet spreads the load more evenly for those boxes at the bottom. The spaces between the slats on wooden pallets can be several centimetres or inches wide, and this gap can cause a box at the bottom to collapse once all the other boxes are piled on top of it.
3. For Stability, Stack Pallets in Columns
The most stable pallet stack is also the safest. The best configuration for pallets is a column with each one stacked directly and squarely over the one underneath. Make sure that items on the pallet are pushed as closely together as possible to form a firm platform for the next pallet.
Compression strength is the ability of the pallet’s load to withstand the loads stacked on top of it. Two-thirds of this strength comes from the corners and vertical edges of the boxes on the pallet. For this reason, it’s crucial to stack the boxes corner to corner and edge to edge.
4. For Extra Safety, Strap the Load
Where individual pieces or boxes are very heavy, they can be lethal if they fall off at any point – in the warehouse, in transit or being loaded or unloaded. Palletising wooden pallets safely can therefore be literally a matter of life and death.
Metal strapping is strong and durable but obviously can cost more than plastic wrap. Cling film or stretch wrap is often used instead, especially if a wrap machine is available in the warehouse. One of the key stress points for a column of pallets is the point at which they are moved, as they can shift. Plastic wrap keeps loads stable, especially if the pallets contain heavy individual items.
5. Have Signs to Remind Operators
Labels showing the right way to load and stack wooden pallets can really help, especially if temporary staff are employed to help out at busy times. Then no one has an excuse for loading a pallet insecurely or stacking it dangerously.